Per the IBM 2012 CEO Study, 1700 CEOs in 64 countries predict a 256% increase in use of social media as a customer interaction method – are you ready? Learn more about how to create an exceptional customer experience, socially, at IBM Connect 2013.
In case you missed the news, LinkedIn launched a new profile design in October (here’s a sneak peek). LinkedIn is arguably the number one social media site for business and professional networking with more than 187 million members in over 200 countries worldwide, as of September 30, 2012. It’s a hugely popular site and recruiters spend a lot of time looking at user profiles. Just in time for 2013, here are 13 new ways you can make your LinkedIn profile more irresistible in the new year, whatever your goals may be from Business Insider. (And when you’re finished polishing your LinkedIn profile, join The Greater IBM Connection group on LinkedIn if you qualify:
For more information:
- Meet the New LinkedIn Profile (LinkedIn blog)
- Preparing for the New LinkedIn Design (Social Media Examiner)
- New LinkedIn Profile Peek (Josh Leichtung)
- The New LinkedIn Profile – A Video Tour (Career Pivot)
–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection
Here’s a quick snapshot of what YOU have been talking about for the month of November 2012. Top five discussions/posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, our blog, and Twitter
–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection
Here’s a quick snapshot of what YOU have been talking about for the month of October 2012. Top five discussions/posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, our blog, and Twitter
–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection
by professional speaker, chief strategist, and best-selling author Mike Moran, in Biznology.com
I’m old. 30 years ago, I learned how IBM qualified leads for sales. At the time, I know now, it was unusual to even have a process for such a thing, but that is how IBM worked (and still does). Most B2B businesses did not have such a process and the ones who did probably did not follow them as religiously as IBM did, but even if you don’t know you have a process, you do. Whatever you do is your process. And unless you have seriously revisited it the last few years, the Internet has broken your B2B sales process.
All this was brought to mind as I prepared for a session I am doing Monday in Copenhagen for the IAA on using social media for sales leads. (Please sign up if you are in town.) As I thought back to the old IBM process, I am not sure any of it works anymore.
IBM had its own names for it, but the process closely resembles one that many B2B marketers use called BANT, which stands for Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline. Basically, what it says is that a well-qualified lead has all of those qualities–the budget to make the purchase, the authority to do so, a proven need for what your product or service does, and a timeline in which to take action.
As someone who still speaks to clients every day about the services they need to succeed in Internet marketing, I wonder how anyone qualifies a lead anymore. First off, I am never talking to the person who has the authority to make the purchase–often it takes three people (including one in purchasing) to sign off, so no one person has the authority. I am not sure if the Internet screwed that up, but it screwed up everything else.
Budget, Need, and Timeline can’t really be looked at as separate items anymore. In the digital age, no one knows in October of 2012 what they will need in November of 2013, but that is when the budget is set for it–if “set” is even the right word. Budgets whipsaw back and forth as results as reported, because everyone knows immediately how they are doing and make rapid course corrections, in part because the Internet has raised stick price speculations to a high art. Everyone is taking corrective action with budgets before anyone even knows there is a problem.
So budgets emerge only after people think there is a need. And, as with budgets, how can you know there is a need when things are changing so fast? You don’t have a need that you spend a year fulfilling–you discover something (from surfing on the Web, or searching, or hearing from a colleague) that would make your business better and then, voila! You get the budget and set the timeline.
Things move too fast for it to be any other way.
So, what is the real way to qualify leads? I am not sure, but remember that the goal is not to qualify leads–it is to sell stuff. And I think I do know how to sell stuff. You must educate your customer–you must create the need. If you do, the authority, budget, and timeline will fall into place and you will have a sale.
And, although the Internet bollixed up the sales qualification process, it didn’t mess up selling stuff. Use the Internet to create the need with content marketing. Put together the deep, persuasive content that explains the problem and explains the options for solving it, including yours. Then share it everywhere and make it discoverable by searchers and wait for the leads to come in. I bet they will be qualified after they’ve read that much about you.
Then, get your sales teams to focus on social media to engage with potential clients. Use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook–whatever works–to help nudge the clients through the last few stages. It isn’t just phone calls and e-mails anymore.
It might not sound like fancy process, but I bet it will sound good when you ring the cash register.
About the author:
Author of Do It Wrong Quickly, on Internet marketing, and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., Mike Moran led many initiatives on IBM’s site for eight years, including IBM’s original search marketing strategy. He holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing, is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, and regularly teaches at Rutgers, UC Irvine, and UCLA. In addition to his contributions to Biznology, Mike is a regular columnist for Search Engine Guide. He also frequently keynotes conferences worldwide on digital marketing for marketers, public relations specialists, market researchers, and technologists, and serves as Chief Strategist for Converseon, a leading digital media marketing agency. Prior to joining Converseon, Mike worked for IBM for 30 years, rising to the level of Distinguished Engineer.
Mike can be reached through his Web site (mikemoran.com). Follow him on Twitter at @MikeMoran.
by Susan P. Joyce, career expert, Work Coach Cafe
I hear from many “older” job seekers these days who are frustrated with today’s job search process. They are convinced that their “advanced age” (30, 40, 50, 60, or more) is causing them problems. I think they could be right, but NOT, perhaps, for the reason they think…
Although I do not doubt that age discrimination exists, I know that other things could be negatively impacting these people. It basically comes down to looking – and being - out of date, using old-fashioned job search techniques.
If you are over 40 or it has been more than 3 years since your last job hunt, you are probably unaware of how much recruiting and hiring practices have changed recentlly, particularly with the growth of social media and also with the tough job market we have been experiencing.
The 5 New Rules of Job Search
Regardless of age, being out-of-date is a very common problem and not, fortunately, an insurmountable one. Here are some things you can do to address the issue, and become more up-to-date for your job search and your job.
One of today’s “problems” is too many opportunities! Studies have shown that we humans are almost paralyzed when we have too many choices – which TV show to watch (when you have hundreds of channels), which coffee to order (when it comes in dozens of variations), and on, and on, and on…
Going to a job board and entering only the location is asking for over-load. Waaayyy too many choices! I just typed “Chicago” into Indeed, and it showed me 57,000+ jobs! Yikes!
To make your job search more effective, focus on 1 or 2 job titles you really want and the employers you would like to work for.
2. Bring Your “A” Game!
The way you handle this whole process of applying and interviewing for a job is viewed as an example of your work – which it is!
Use great care with all of your interactions with an employer or recruiter. Take the time to craft your best response rather than hurriedly attaching your resume to a one-sentence email with a subject that simply (and very unhelpfully) says, “Resume Attached” or “Applying.”
Standing out from the crowd in a positive way is NOT optional. Leverage the technology currently available, and you will also prove that you are not out-of-date.
Resumes have changed substantially with the availability of technology. An old-fashioned resume stamps “OUT-OF-DATE” on your forehead! Most employers expect that you can use word processing software well enough to customize your resume and cover letter specifically for them. Generic work-history resumes don’t often work well today.
Studies show that the person who is referred by an employee is hired 5 times more often than the stranger who simply applies. So, focus that networking on your target employers (or a class of employers).
Find those former colleagues who you worked with well in the past. Or that great boss you had 2 jobs ago. Where are they working now? Are they hiring?
Be very well-prepared. Expect to be asked, “So, what do you know about us?” and have a good answer ready based on your research on the employer’s website as well as what Google and LinkedIn show you.
- Prepare positive answers to unusual interview questions, particularly for any “soft spots” you have, like gaps in your employment history, being fired, or anything questionable about your recent work history that could raise concern for an employer. Also, of course, have answers ready for the standard interview questions, like “Why do you want to work here?” ”Why should we hire you?”
3. Be Visible!
Being invisible is like another OUT-OF-DATE stamp on your forehead! Employers use search engines to research job applicants more than 80% of the time, according to recent studies. They are looking for “social proof” that you are who you say you are, have done what you say you have done, would fit in well, and understand how to use the Internet for business. If they don’t find that corroboration, they move on to the next candidate.
If you Google your name and find nothing about you on the first page or – at a minimum – the first 3 pages, this is a problem! Yes, it is better than having photos of you drunk at a party, but a lack of online visibility brands you as out-of-date (unless you are in some sort of super-secret profession, like spy).
It also makes you vulnerable to mistaken identity. Oh, that person who has the same name you have and stole money from his or her last employer isn’t you? An employer doing a quick Google search would not know it wasn’t you, and, most likely, they would not take the time to find out.
4. Join LinkedIn!
LinkedIn is an excellent venue for managing professional/work visibility. LinkedIn is usually # 1 – or very near # 1 – on any search of a person’s name on a search engine. And, YOU control what it tells the world about you! Your LinkedIn Profile needs to be 100% complete (LinkedIn guides you through that process), and then it will provide much of the “social proof” most employers are seeking.
LinkedIn will help you reconnect with those former colleagues, co-workers, and bosses, and give you opportunities, through Groups and Answers, to demonstrate what you know.
5. Pay Attention!
Set up a Google Alert on your name. Pay attention to what is visible about your name when someone does a search. When something bad appears, you can bury it with other positive content, or you may be able to get it taken down. If something can’t be removed, be prepared to address it in an interview or, even, in a cover letter or your resume, if appropriate.
Catch up with these New Rules so you don’t look out-of-date because looking out-of-date is probably hurting you more than your age. The good news is that by becoming more up-to-date for your job search, you’ll be more up-to-date for your job! So, you should be more successful once you land. We’re never too old to learn something new – it keeps us young!
Greater IBMers, what would you add to this? Share your lessons learned in the Comments.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what YOU have been talking about for the month of September 2012. Top five discussions/posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, our blog, and Twitter
–Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection
“Your best chance of securing a new role via LinkedIn is to focus on your profile being found and being compelling”
That’s because recruiters are finding the most effective way to hire on LinkedIn is to track down and approach those they are interested in hiring, rather than to “post and pray” by advertising a job post there.
Hence you need to ensure your profile is:
- appearing in as many relevant recruiter searches as possible;
- presenting a snapshot of you that makes your target recruiters want to click through and find out more; and
- showcasing you as a candidate when relevant recruiters do click through to read your full profile
Let’s look at each of these in turn:
1) Make sure you are appearing in as many relevant recruiter searches as possible.
The key here is to ensure you have proactively thought about what recruiters in your industry might be searching for – and then to ensure that your profile is written in a way that includes these elements. There are two aspects to focus on here – the keywords in your profile itself and then the skills you include within the skills section of your profile (relatively new so lots of candidates have not even taken the time to complete this).
By way of example, if you’re a social media manager it is not enough to have this in your job title and the responsibilities you hold to be referenced throughout your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters in this field could be searching for people with expertise on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Xing… Unless you have all these bases covered in your profile, you could fail to turn up as a search match for a role you would dearly have liked to secure. So in this instance, a social media manager would want to find a way – through bullet lists or an engaging piece of writing – to ensure that all these platforms are listed on their profile. In your field, you want to do something similar for the things that are most highly regarded or sought after in your profession.
Taking this simple step can produce exceptional results. Here’s what happened these last months when I invested in doing this properly (albeit not for jobhunting purposes):
If you’re lacking the creative juices to think this through for your sector – or you’re just not confident enough you’ll come up with the right answers – try finding a few job adverts for roles you’d be interested in and feel you’d be well qualified for. Now look through the job advert and see what is referenced in the requirements section. What skills is the employer looking for, what sector experience are they looking for, what micro-specialisms are referenced as nice-to-haves, etc. The more of these you are able to cover off in your profile, the more you’ll show up in relevant recruiters’ search results.
2) Make sure you present a snapshot that makes your target recruiters want to click through and find out more
Take a moment to do a people search on LinkedIn, one that brings you up as a search match. You should see a long list of profile matches appear – with yours looking something like mine:
Now keep in mind that this is the first information a recruiter sees about you when conducting their search. Does yours compel recruiters to click through and find out more, or is it bland (or worse still, lacking the key information needed to make a recruiter even consider clicking further)?
Compare and contrast:
“Sales Representative at Company X”
“Leading Outbound Sales Representative at Company X, consistent top biller 43% ahead of target”
The second of these does two things to increase the chances of your profile being clicked on by relevant recruiters. Instead of just listing a job title, we qualify the job by specifying that it is outbound sales calls being made. If that’s the type of salesperson the recruiter is looking for, bingo! they are much more likely to click. Plus of course the wording around being a top performer instantly increases your credibility as a potential great hire. (Warning note: describing what you think you are, without facts backing this up, is not nearly as compelling – so back up with facts wherever you can).
Take a few moments on LinkedIn to search as if you were a recruiter looking to hire someone like you. Which of the snapshot profile results really make you want to click through and find out more about that candidate; and which look incomplete or uninspiring? Learn from the messages others are conveying in your industry (and role) and then model yours accordingly. You have a couple of lines of tagline you can play with here, so use them wisely!
3) Make sure you are showcasing yourself as a candidate when relevant recruiters do click through to read your full profile
So you’ve succeeded in having your profile appear in as many relevant recruiter searches as possible. You’ve also checked your LinkedIn snapshot and reworded this so that it encourages as many of these relevant recruiters as possible to click through and read your full profile.
Now you have relevant recruiters reading your profile, what is going to make it more likely that they go on to invite you in for interview?
First things first. Recruiters are time-poor. So right at the outset we want the summary information they see at the top of your profile to do a great job of selling you as a candidate. This should be short and concise and should spell out to the recruiter your main selling points as a candidate. If done well, the recruiter will be sold on interviewing you by the time they finish reading the summary – reading the rest of your profile simply reassures them that what you’ve said in the career summary is true.
Secondly, other people’s endorsements are often more compelling than your own descriptions of your talents. So do approach former colleagues, bosses, clients, etc. to request recommendations you can add to your profile (LinkedIn makes this incredibly easy, so there’s really no excuse). The more senior the people providing the reference and / or the more well known the company they themselves work for, the more compelling the reference will be.
I touched on this above, but focus on facts not opinion. Facts allow recruiters to form their own opinion about your candidacy and where you might fit into their company. Facts also signal the claims that you really can back up with evidence. So many profiles are littered with statements like “a great team leader” or “a high performing salesperson” or “a top performer within the organisation’. To a recruiter these are just noise. Verifiable facts and achievements are what really convince recruiters that you are the real deal, particularly when published publicly on a site like LinkedIn.
by Kate Maddox, BtoBonline.com
San Francisco—Matt Preschern, VP-North America demand programs at IBM Corp., was named BtoB’s 2012 Top Digital Marketer of the Year at an awards ceremony Sept. 20.
Preschern was recognized for his work this year using digital platforms to promote IBM’s hardware, software and services, as part of its Smarter Planet initiative.
“We are making IBMers part of the brand,” Preschern said, pointing to a “social eminence” program that helps IBM employees engage with social media and build the IBM brand.
During a keynote presentation at the luncheon, Alison Engel, global marketing director at LinkedIn, revealed new LinkedIn research on how business professionals use social media.
The study was based on an online survey of more than 6,000 LinkedIn users worldwide.
“On personal networks, users “spend’ time—on professional networks, users “invest’ time,” Engel said. “Professional network users want content that can help them at some time in the future— insights that help them work smarter and updates from brands they are interested in.”
The top content area for professional social-network users is career information, followed by brand updates and current affairs, the research found.
“There is a deep well of emotion on professional social networks, similar to the type of high emotion that exists on b-to-c social networks,” Engel said.
She presented case studies from Cisco Systems, Citigroup and IBM to demonstrate how b2b marketers are using content, LinkedIn groups and brand updates to engage with their target audiences.
Also during the event, several of this year’s Top Digital Marketers discussed how they’re using social media, mobile and other online technologies.
“Business is social,” said Linda Boff, global executive director-digital, advertising and design at General Electric Co., last year’s Top Digital Marketer, who presented the award to Preschern.
Boff said GE has found success this year using Instagram to engage its target audiences, being named one of the top five brands on Instagram, with more than 100,000 followers.
“Mobile has been huge for events,” said Rishi Dave, executive director-digital marketing at Dell Inc. Dell creates mobile apps for its events and “gamifies” the content to let event attendees win prizes and network with other users.
Dave and other panelists pointed to some challenges with mobile marketing.
“The No. 1 problem is scaling mobile globally,” he said.
Pam Didner, global integrated marketing manager at Intel Corp., agreed.
“Intel is a global company, and it is very hard to develop a headquarters-driven approach to mobile,” she said. “Headquarters has to work with the regional offices to coordinate mobile programs.”